TAI Weekly

TAI Weekly |Is Democratic Backsliding Real?

By TAI (Role at TAI)

Dear readers!


Governance champions from across Africa gathered in Nairobi this past weekend for the Ibrahim Governance Weekend. Lots of big-picture conversations on how to foster development and a celebration of President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, winner of the 2021 leadership prize. Get a sense of the discussions via the Twitter feed.

Now, enjoy reading the Weekly!


 Is democratic backsliding real? Yanina Welp, who coordinated the last LASA Forum with Hector Briceño, recommends these thoughtful articles about the topic. Get a sense of the scale of the current context with this visual of the state of democracy worldwide.

Humberto Costa anticipates a welcome resurgence of participatory budgeting to aid democracy in Brazil.

Ieva Dunčikaitė and Deimantė Žemgulytė from Transparency International Lithuania explain how participatory budgeting shapes communities in their country.

West Nusa Tenggara and West Sumbawa, Indonesia, present the initial Open Government Partnership assessment of their action plan and how they are working collaboratively to strengthen it.

Martin Rosenbaum offers a guidebook to using freedom of information systems to get the info you want from public authorities. It is full of tips on how to devise effective requests, understand what is likely to work, challenge rejections, and conduct appeals.

The Citizen Lab exposes civil society victims of QuaDream’s spyware, and. In a sign of impact, the firm is now closed down.

A Spanish translation of the landmark book Data Feminism is now available online - launched last week thanks to the Observatorio de Datos con Perspectiva de Género.


TAI recently hosted a funder briefing to present CANVAS’ Movements in Transition Project, a new training curriculum to provide activists with the skills, insights, and lessons learned to craft a strategy to achieve genuine democratic change in their school, community, or country. We have all the details online now.



The Chandler Institute of Governance revealed the Top 20 Countries of the 2023 Chandler Good Government Index. Singapore took the lead this year, and the United Arab Emirates broke into the top 20 for the first time. Find the full 2023 #CGGI country rankings here.


How do you use the law to advance open societies? This inspiring timeline gives examples, showcasing efforts over recent decades of the Justice Initiative.


Commissioned a report studying the barriers to collaboration between strategic communications firms and change agents such as nonprofits, activists, and community groups in Kenya.


Ximena Saskia Warnaars examines extractivists' gendered violence and honors the women fighting for change.


The recent Skoll World Forum was bustling with innovators and entrepreneurs engaged in the work of "transformational social change" -  that is, making the world a better place. Ari Daniel draws lessons in optimism from six individuals in attendance.


This note summarizes the themes and papers from the latest International Conference on Empirical Approaches to Anti-Money Laundering.



A team of Black feminist researchers from Latin America and the Caribbean explored Black women’s activism across 17 countries and five sub-regions. You will not be surprised that flexible and long-term support is the first in their list of recommendations.

Five ways for funders to think about investing in data and AI that would put the ownership of responsible data and AI squarely in the hands of the social sector.

Do you have grantees facing digital threats? Internews has developed a digital security course for human rights and environmental defenders (in Spanish).



What do we mean by green accountability? Louise Cord, Aly Rahim, Anne-Sophie Jesperson and TAI’s own Michael Jarvis explain and make the case for green accountability - "We need a participatory and transparent architecture for climate finance that truly puts people at the center of the agenda." They lay out several ways that civil society can and should have a say in where the money goes and overseeing how it is used.

There is a new vehicle to test what civic engagement can productively look like with the launch of a Call for Proposals dedicated to advancing green accountability. The Global Partnership for Social Accountability, supported by TAI, Accountability Lab, and the French development agency are looking for a partner to manage over $4 million to support locally driven accountability of climate projects. Following a launch event this past week on why green accountability matters, there will be a practical session in early May to guide proposal submissions. 

Also, explore our latest video animation on the topic and stay tuned for forthcoming research on pathways to build participation and accountability into major climate finance.



How can trillions channeled through government procurement spur positive climate action? And what part can funders do to accelerate green procurement? Join Open Contracting, the Patrick J McGovern Foundation and TAI for a roundtable to address these very questions, and more.



Helen Clark, Chair of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, warns that corruption in the mining sector can hinder a just energy transition by having negative impacts on communities, the environment, and human rights.

A new report by the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) and partners uncovers the gender-disaggregated employment profile for large-scale mining in 12 countries, focusing on women and their occupations in the sector.

Transparency deficits are revealed in the management of Ghana’s fishing sector in the latest Fisheries Transparency Initiative assessment.

The Conference of the Parties of the Escazú Agreement closed without announcements of any new ratifications, despite the presence of delegations from countries with the worst indicators in terms of protection of environmental defenders.

Accountability should not be a dirty word for companies says Natasha Matic, Executive Director of the Global Commons Alliance’s Accountability Accelerator. Rather, accountability is about incentivizing, corralling, supporting, raising awareness, building capacity, benchmarking, monitoring, reporting, verifying, and disclosing.



Job postings at Hewlett Foundation - ONGOING

Job postings at MacArthur Foundation - ONGOING

Job postings at Open Society Foundations - ONGOING

Job postings at Luminate - ONGOING

Job postings at Ford Foundation  - ONGOING

Job postings at FCDO - ONGOING

Job postings at Skoll - ONGOING


Program Officer, Technology and Society- Ford Foundation

Director- Funders Organized for Rights in the Global Economy

Vice President, Africa- Luminate

Deputy Director, Grants Management- OSF

Head of Programme, European Energy Transition- Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union 

Director of Network and Institutional Advancement- WINGS

Director - Funders Organized for Rights in the Global Economy


Program Director, Human Rights and Democracy - Overbrook Foundation


Digital Communications Coordinator- Omidyar Network


Event project manager- MamaCash


Project Manager, Global Climate Cooperation (GCC), Environmental Defense Funds


Team Leader Governance Research and Innovation, Oslo Governance Center


Team Leader Strategic Communications and Knowledge Management, Oslo Governance Center


Governance Data Specialist, Oslo Governance Center


Green Accountability Global Call for Proposals - GPSA (thegpsa.org) - Deadline May 24, 2023

Grants available for fact-checking programs - Deadline May 15, 2023 

2023 Open Government Awards - Deadline May 13, 2023 


Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of expression as a driver for all other human rights, United Nations, In Person Event - New York, 2 May, 09.00 ET

Secret surveillance: countering spyware’s threats to freedom of the press and expression - YouTube, May 3, 2023

Philanthropy and AI, Webinar, Thursday, May 4, 2023 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM (UTC+02:00)

The Future of Open Government - launch of Open Government Partnership’s new strategy - May 8, 2023, 10am EDT

Amplifying Voices: Strategies for Inclusive Citizen Engagement, GPSA, May 8, 2023 | 09:00 am EDT

Open Gov Week 2023 - May 8-12

Who really owns it? Using company ownership data for investigations, Open Ownership Webinar, 9 May, 13.00 BST

Research to Practice Talk: The transformative potential of citizens' assemblies on its participants, Berggruen Institute, May 16, 2023 02:00 PM

The impact of citizens assemblies on participation, PeoplePowered webinar, May 16, 8am ET, Webinar

Nations in Transit 2023 - Launch of Freedom House's report on the state of democracy in the 29-country region stretching from Central Europe to Central Asia, May 24, 9am ET

Truth, Trust and Hope / Nobel Prize Summit, 24-26 May 2023 / Washington, DC. In-person and virtual

Panel discussion: "Kleptocracy and The Financial Action Task Force". Monday 5 June, 5pm – 6.30pm BST

Rights Con 2023, June 5-8, 2023

EITI Global Conference, Dakar, June 2023

Conference on the future of AI – and what this means for (countering) disinformation, June 29, Brussels, Belgium

2023 #ShiftThePower Summit, Bogota, Colombia, December 2023

Michael Jarvis,

TAI's Executive Director

Don't miss our latest publications Subscribe now to get our notifications